Modeling the In-state Geographic Market Changes of South Dakota Public University Enrollments, 2006 to 2015

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Green, John
South Dakota State University
college enrollment; spatial interaction; retail model; location quotient; South Dakota; Geographic Information Sciences; Geography; Human Geography; Spatial Science
artifact description
The spatial nature of how high school students choose a college has become an integral part of the recruitment process at universities across the country. In South Dakota, the impact of distance on enrollment at state operated institutions influences the geographic footprint of each university. Between 2006 and 2015, the nature of those enrollment numbers and geographic footprints changed within the state, creating enrollment stagnation or decline at state run institutions. This research paper addresses the geographic nature of those enrollment declines, models the college enrollment decision of students in the state, and applies those findings towards potential enrollment projections. Results indicate that underperforming markets in eastern South Dakota may be responsible for enrollment stagnation and the target of future enrollment planning focuses.